#TeamDenver as a Movement

February 7, 2016 By Tom

Denver at IMS for the 99th Running of the Indy 500. Photo Credit: Bob Burchfield

I’ve been asked by a ton of folks over the last three weeks how they can help carry the torch of all Denver taught us and find a way to impact the community in the way she did.

It’s a pretty daunting goal, in fact, the thought of it triggers tears from me faster than anything else because it seems so impossible to fill the damning void of someone who was such a game-changer for both me personally and the broader role she played in the community.

But, this community collectively has already banded together to keep her spirit alive. Today, I’m sharing the early details on what is to come over the coming weeks and months.

Denver Hutt Legacy Fund: Hutt Fellowship at Speak Easy

This is going to be a big one, the one I will point to when talking to Moose (closest Denver had to a kid) and say, “that’s all because of your mother.”

We have formed a committee that will be meeting this week to quickly and decisively move forward with what we anticipate will be the most visible effort to carry on the love Denver had for Indianapolis and the Speak Easy. This committee which I am chairing will create and fund an internship position under the Hutt Fellowship name at Speak Easy. The intern selected will be vetted by both the Hutt Fellowship committee and Speak Easy staff and must embody the same passion to break down silos, build meaningful relationships, and want to stay engaged in Indianapolis after college graduation. Of course, an attitude of “if now now, when?” will also go a very long way with the selection committee.

Lauren Mulvey and I, in agreement with Denver’s family, redirected funds raised from Denver’s Go Fund Me page to seed this program, and in a few short weeks we’ve already got more than $20,000 in funds to roll this out. Our goal will be to grow this over time and use it as a catalyst to find the best possible person equipped to create the best possible impact on Indianapolis. We will work feverishly to continue to grow those funds and have created a new account with our friends at BidPal to be able to use continue fundraising over the coming weeks. We also will be launching a website in near future dedicated to telling Denver’s story and creating the informational hub for the program that we hope will help find and place the first intern in August.

Denver Hutt “If Not Now, When?” College Scholarship

I had already been working on a scholarship in Jim’s name since last summer and we had hopes of launching it in the second half of 2016.

However, things change, and I have had an incredible donor who wishes to remain anonymous, agree to fund a scholarship in both Jim and Denver’s name for many years to come.

Denver’s scholarship will be focused on delivering a $2,500 scholarship to a female student within the same school as our corporate office is based at. We’re finalizing details on this and will be making a separate release in the coming weeks, but we anticipate funding the first scholarship as part of their graduating class in June. It’s going to be a tight timeline, but the reward of seeing it delivered will be totally worth it. We anticipate this scholarship being designed for a student that has shown leadership at a young age, is actively part of the community in unique and different ways, and has a vision for the future of Indianapolis that will hopefully bring them back to this city after they earn their college degree.

And if you’re wondering, separately , the scholarship in Jim’s name has the same parameters except will be earmarked specifically for a male student and will also be awarded as part of the 2016 graduating class. Each selection committee will be comprised of individuals that knew Denver or Jim and are interesting in finding the best students that highlight the character and traits that we loved about them.

What Else?

While Denver specifically stated she did not want a traditional headstone or location in a cemetery, she did ask me to find a way to have her memorialized as part of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and their new honorary brick program they have this year. We are working on details and logistics, but an honorary brick will be located within IMS for the 100th running of the race this year and will serve as a permanent marker for Denver here in the city she loved so much. Once we finalize everything, I’ll make sure that a map is readily available for all of you who will be visiting IMS.

Thanks to the entire community for the effort you’ve all shown to make sure these legacy items are put into place quickly, properly, and with a goal of serving Indianapolis for the future.